When was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) first discovered?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
The first reports of what we now call attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appeared in 1902. At that time, doctors observed and wrote about children's impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. During the 1970s, doctors narrowed ADHD down to three types: primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive-impulsive, and combined type. ADHD was known as ADD (attention deficit disorder) for quite some time. In 1994, the "H" was added to the name. Experts changed the name because hyperactivity was such a significant and common symptom of the condition.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Doctors started describing hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive symptoms in children in 1902 (the same year as the very first Rose Bowl! Who won the third? Was that CalTech?).

In the 1970s, when Hippies weren’t just a Halloween costume, docs parsed the condition out a little more, breaking it into three classifications that we still use today: primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive/impulsive, and combined type.

A doctor named Heinrich Hoffman first described Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which had not yet been named, in his book published in 1845. Decades later, Sir George Frederick Still, a pediatric doctor in Britain who later served the royalty, delivered lectures describing the condition in 1902.

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